they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Clarity

Tuesday at 1:45 a.m., Michael Robards was driving near 83rd Street and State Line Road. He had been drinking. Probably half of the drivers that night had been, too. As Robards was driving toward 83rd Street, William Pyle was stopped at a traffic light on his motorcycle. No one knows if he had been drinking and no one cares, because when Robards approached the light, the Honda he was driving struck the motorcycle killing Pyle on impact. If convicted, he is facing 3 ½ to 15 years in prison.

Truth is, I hear about this kind of thing happening all of the time. But today, I don’t know how to feel because, I used to know Robards. We went to grade school together. His mom was my brother and sister’s first grade teacher. His dad coached my brother’s soccer team. I always kind of had a crush on him. He was tall and dark, and he was a year younger than me, which always left him kind of off limits. Especially in grade school when no one really dates anyway. So instead, at choir concerts, I’d admire his falsetto solos from my spot in the chorus on the risers. I remember his smile and his wavy brunette hair and that he was funny and carefree and smart and he came from a really good, loving family. Until last night, I hadn’t seen him since high school. He looked different on the news. Even though he had very much turned into a man, he looked scared and lost and like he had just thrown part of his life away.

I’ve never been more confused. I’m caught between wanting him to get an easy sentence because his only other conviction was a speeding ticket in 1999 and wanting him to serve the full 15 years because then maybe, people will really think before they get behind the wheel after a night of drinking and holiday parties and maybe they will realize how easily they can take someone else’s life. I don’t know how to react. He wasn’t the one who was killed. His is not the family that needs sympathy cards and support in the way we’re used to. But his family still needs people, and he is still going to need people. I’m not sure how I will choose to be there for them, if at all, but I do know that I am going to think much harder about driving even after one beer. It’s just not worth it.

7 Comments:

  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger Faith said…

    You know, I keep trying to figure out how someone can be so drunk, they don't see a motorcycle sitting at a red light, and all I can figure is that maybe he fell asleep?

    There were many a night a few years ago when I was just like Michael, driving home to my south OP apartment via State Line from the Brooksider, and I always called my sister when I was doing it so I could have help staying alert and keeping my mind on my speed so I wouldn't get pulled over if I passed a cop. It's not logical to pick up a cell phone and make a phone call in order to stay more aware of your surroundings, technically. But technically, it wasn't logical for me to drive in that kind of state on a regular basis, either.

    I'm sorry for your friend. He must feel terrible. No matter what, when it comes to drunk drivers, I always feel bad for them as well in cases like this, because I'm pretty darned sure they don't plan on killing someone on their way home from the bar. But one always hopes that their story will help other people to make better decisions in the future...

     
  • At 6:50 AM, Anonymous pam said…

    So sad... My sister would have celebrated her 45th birthday on December 14. Except for the drunk driver that separated her from this life.

     
  • At 7:37 PM, Blogger osuokcdave said…

  • At 7:57 PM, Blogger Sr. said…

    NO WAY! My mom was telling me about this "Milwaukee" guy that killed that man. I was like, "ok, ok" since she never said his name.

    But once I read it, I was like that guy sounds familiar. Turns out we were friends at Rockhurst! I can't believe the state of events someone can get into. Mike was a top-10 scholar athlete while in high school. It can happen to anyone like Jessi said. What a tragedy for two families. One obviously more so than the other.

     
  • At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hope they throw the book at him...you kill someone, then you have to pay for your actions, I think 10 years in the pokey should give him plenty of time to think about the life he wasted.
    Just my thoughts...Have a great day..:-)

     
  • At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You don't know me ..but I am the Mother of a Beautiful 18 year old girl that was "murderd" by a drunk driver,I was sent a copy of this young man's story by a friend that got it from her daughters soccer coach.The young man that killed my daughter served 120 days in jail.but believe me he pays for his crime every day.he has no friends and the torment of the life he took is getting to him. now I do not feel sorry for him his life is what it is we all make mistakes in our life we do not all take some ones life..I see this young man several times a week.it is very hard because he gets to go home and go on with his life and my Christina doesn't,,,anyway that is not why im writing this I would really like to get in toush with Michael and let him know that he needs to keep telling his story,If he saves just one life it will all be worth it.If you can put me in touch with him that would be great..I am a very stroung member of MADD and would very much like to use his story..but need his permission. Thanks so much. you can reach me at mastiff27g@aol.com

     
  • At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was the girlfriend of Bill Pyle. He was a great guy. To give the man who killed him ANY sympathy is beyond my ability to think. Bill was a father, grandfather and he had so many friends at his funeral they had to open another room to put them all.
    Who can be on the side of this drunk kid who killed him?????
    Bill was the love of my life. My sons and I miss him so. If you only knew, how much he is still missed.
    "clarity" can suck a big one, hopefully an exhaust pipe.
    inner peace
    debb apple
    bill's love and joy

     

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